Thursday, February 23, 2006

Another day

I posted yesterday and promptly started feeling guilty.

"You're such a whiner" ran my thoughts. "You know, SOME people have REAL problems in their lives" was also pitched in. I was raised to feel that you took care of your own troubles and you didn't talk about them. Suck it up and move on.

I've come to realize what a stupid way to go through life that is. It's probably why so many men in my family have died relatively young.

All those problems from yesterday exist. They are a burden to me that feels like it could break my back some days. But it hasn't so far.

Today I got a nice note from a friend encouraging me (you know who you are, even if I don't), I got an encouraging e-mail from a congregation excited about having me come out and help them, I had a good meeting with someone who is "journey-ing" with me from my congregation and I had a great Greek lunch with a group of friends.

I also had an eight year old look at me and say "You look tired".

So the bad stuff must be real, but I'm feeling better and stronger today. And that's all I really need for the moment. To pick up my burdens and move on.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Oddness Murray Oddness.

The title of this entry is a line from the play "Thousand Clowns" by Herb Gardner. A show I did years ago and this line just found a place in my life. It's the perfect summation of how I've been feeling recently.

Which reminds me. If you're wondering about the oboe reference in the last post, I had included one of those little online tests. This one was for what orchestra instrument are you? Unfortunately I could never get the coding to work so I dropped it. And forgot about changing the title. I think I'm going to leave it as a representation of the anarchy that threatens to break out in my life.

I'm really coming up fast on a crossroads in my life. In the best of all possible worlds I wouldn't have to make a choice. But it seems pretty clear right now that staying on the current route is going to slam me right into a wall. It's the bits and pieces I've mentioned over the past couple months:

My mom's death;
My wife's ongoing illnesses tagged with her first surgery (about which we have some small worries that may be nothing);
Having my primary job reduced to 80% of full time so that...
I have to get a second job (and the related issues that I want to go whole hog on a job, which is darned tough to do on two fronts);
ongoing funding issues (no longer immediate problems but long term challenges that require here and now commitments of my time);
I talked with one of my brothers and he's having some undisclosed problem too (and I want to help him but I'm stretched close to my limits as it is. So what do I do?);
plus the every day stuff like my own health (I weigh too damn much), my daughter graduating from high school, paying bills, an unexpected tax bill (which we can pay but will wipe out our savings)etc...

It's just tiring, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I told my lady wife this morning that I'm beginning to wonder if my parents made the right choice for the executor of their estates. I don't feel like I'm handling this at all competently (I haven't screwed anything up. At least not yet. But it's been close. And there's tax time hanging over my head.)

I can tell when things start overwhelming me. My usual borderline orderliness goes straight over the edge. Papers begin to pile up, things start getting misplaced and occasionally lost. The very thought of even trying to dig my way out is so overwhelming that I can't bring myself to even try. Today was a good day, I sat down and forced myself through the filing and throwing away. Now I'm certain that I'm missing two pieces of paper. One's important, the other one isn't. I've taken steps to replace the unimportant one and think I know what to do about the other.

You know what a koosh ball is? They were all the rage about ten years(?) ago. They look like balls made entirely of rubber bands. Right now I feel like a koosh ball that has someone pulling on every single rubber band, in completely different directions. What happens is that the ball is under maximum stress but can't move in any direction because of the equal pull in ALL directions.

To be perfectly honest the feeling sucks.

So soon I'll have to make some decisions. Decisions about giving up ministries that I love and that have been very good for me. But they take me away and chew up time that I'm not sure I have to invest any more. I may have to make some decisions that will hurt/offend family members in order to get things moving because I can't emotionally deal with letting them slide any more. I have to commit to investing more of my time and energy into things that are "job" rather than "ministry" or "passion". There's not anything wrong with those things but they don't excite me and I don't believe they play to my strengths.

I have a couple of really cool blog entries I want to share but I don't feel like I have the time. Like the White Rabbit in Wonderland it's "So little time so much to do".

Yet the people around me seem to think I'm doing a fine job.

Oddness Murray, oddness.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I am an.....Oboe?

My apologies for the long interval here. With my lady wife recovering from a total hip replacement my life is totally up in the air. She's doing fabulously well but we're temporarily living in a different house so nothing is where I expect it. Half of what I need is still at OUR house, I'm sleeping on the futon (so as not to disturb her) etc. I barely know what day it is most times. (Which would explain how the last post got published WITHOUT a title - now fixed)


We move back home on Friday! YAY!


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Super Bowl review


Yes it was a very good day to be a Steelers fan. I was a teenager when the Black and Gold went on their title run during the 70's. There was one year when every time my brother baked a cake on Sunday the Steelers won, when he didn't they lost. Every time. With one exception. One Sunday he baked brownies. And they tied.

I remember being in a bowling alley listening to the Immaculate Reception on the radio.

I remember how that whole region of the state rolls with the Steelers, more than the Bucs or the Pens.

It felt great watching the Coach and Mr. Rooney lifting the Lombardi.

And yes, there was a little tear in my eye.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

A thought on baptism and television

I was watching one of my favorite TV shows, "Lost", a couple weeks when the subject of baptism came up. If you don't watch the show the important details are these: Buncha people stranded on a remote island, facing a variety of problems, one young woman has delivered a baby and her friend had a dream which he believes tells him that the baby must be baptized.

Personally I think he's stretching that interpretation, the dream just tells him that the baby needs to be saved but there's a lot of Christian imagery running around loose in this dream too.

Now they have a Catholic "priest" there (that's a looooooooong story but I'll let him slide on how he "became" a priest. Let's just say it's not anything that the Pope is likely to approve of but we're going to roll with it). Mom brings baby to "priest" after a series of strange events (very Lemony Snicket) to be baptized.

Here's where I start having a problem. Not with infant baptism, though I know some folks don't believe in that. Rather it's the baptism as eternal fire insurance. Mom's not particularly Christian. Heck, neither's anyone else including the priest. There's no community of believers welcoming this child into their midst. It just made me wriggle in my seat. Yeah, there's a feel good, this is something I think I ought to do aspect to it but I'm past the point of being good with that.

I guess in the end it's like my Christmas rant. I want the church to take back our holidays and ceremonies. I want the stores out of the Christmas business, I want the government to do it's own marriage paper work and I want baptism back from the "doing the kid" mentality. Why do we let this nonsense go on? You want to share Christmas or baptism or marriage (in whatever form that community of faith understands those concepts)? Fine but it comes with an understanding and a certain commitment. No ill feelings if you're not into it, hey we appreciate the honesty.

But get yer mitts off our spiritual life.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Just befuzzled

My wife came home from the hospital today, one week and one day after having a total hip replacement. Ain't modern medicince wunnerful?

She's doing very well and even got in and out of the car fairly easily so I'm hoping she'll really get going on getting well now. She HATED being in the rehab facility.

Other than that I have multiple tasks to get caught up on and several things I want to write about but no time now!

Oh yeah and the Super Bowl is Sunday. Go Black and Gold!